By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
17 March 2022
Special Attributes and Significance of Shab-e-Baraa’t in Islam
1. Allah Almighty has endowed Shab-e-Baraa’t with many special features.
2. The Angels say ‘Glad Tidings to Those’ who worship on this Night
3. The Opinions of Jurists and Scholars About Shab-e-Baraa’t
4. Some recommended acts for Shab-e-Baraa’t
Shab-e-Baraa't or the "Night of Salvation," is observed on the 15th night (the night between the 14th and 15th) of Sha'ban, the 8th month of the Islamic calendar. This beautiful night, which is associated with forgiveness and destiny, begins at sunset on the 14th of Shaban and finishes at dawn on the 15th.
Allah Almighty has bestowed numerous unique characteristics on this night. 1) Taqseem-e-Umur (Passing of Orders), 2) Nuzul-e-Rahmat (Revelation of Blessings), 3) Faizaan-e-Bakhshish (Granting of Forgiveness), 4) Qabool-e-Shifaat (Acceptance of Intercession), and 5) Fazeelet-e-Ibaadat (Greatness of Worship) are five of the most essential.
Shab-E-Baraa’t: The Night of Taqseem-E-Umoor [The Passing of Orders]
Allah says in the Quran: "By the manifest book that makes things clear. We sent it (Quran) down on a blessed night. Verily! We are ever warning of our fear. During this night, all decreed matters are shared out by us." (Surah Duhaan, Ayat 5)
Hazrat Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated, “The meaning of 'the sharing of matters' is that whatever happens throughout the year is written (wealth, death, life, rain, even who is going to Hajj in that year). (Addur ul Manthur Fi Tafseeri Bilmaathuri, P. 25, volume 6, Beirut)
Hazrat Ikrama (May Allah be pleased with him) and a group of commentators of the Quran said, “In this verse, “Laila Mubaraka' or 'blessed night' is indicating that the 15th of Sha'ban is Shab-e-Baraa’t”. (Alfutoohaat Ilaahiya, P. 99)
It is reported from Hazrat ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) that the prophet (peace be upon him) asked her: “Do you know what happens on the 15th of Sha’ban?” (Meaning the importance, blessings?). She replied: 'Oh Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), Tell me.' The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) replied: “On that night every man whose child is to be born that year is written down. Every person who is going to die that year is written down. All the deeds of every person (good and bad) are presented. The wealth of every person is written down. (Mishkaat-ul-Masabih, pg115, Gunya al-talibin by Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani radi Allahu anhu, Page No. 447]
It is narrated by Hazrat Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “From one Sha'ban to the next, a person who is alive and is going to die in that time is written down. To the point that a man marries and has children, but his name is written on the list of the people who will die that year” (Addurrul Manthur, P. 26, volume 6)
Shab-e-Baraa’t: The night of Forgiveness and Mercy
It was narrated that ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) said: “I missed the Prophet (peace be upon him) one night, so I went out looking for him. I found him at Al-Baqi’ raising his head towards the sky. He said: ‘O ‘Aishah, were you afraid that Allah and His Messenger would wrong you?’” She said: “I said: ‘No, it is not that, but I thought that you had gone to one of your other wives.’ He said: ‘Allah descends on the night of the middle of Sha’ban to the lowest heaven, and He forgives more than the numbers of hairs on the sheep of Banu Kalb.’” [Sunan Ibn Majah: Book 5, Hadith 1452, Jami’ Tirmidhi: the book of Fasting, Musnad Ahmad: vol 6, p. 238, Mishkat: vol 1, p. 277, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah: Vol-1 page 237, Shu’bul Imaan: Vol-3, page 379)
According to the scholars of Hadith, this hadith has been narrated with so many Isnad [chains of authorities] that it has attained the rank of authenticity [Sehat].
It was narrated from Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Allah looks down on the night of the middle of Sha’ban and forgives all His creation, apart from the idolater and the Mushahin.” [Sunan Ibn Majah: Book 5, Hadith 1390, Shu’bul Imaan: Vol-3, page 382, Mishkat: Vol-1 page 277]. There is another chain from Abu Musa, from the Prophet (peace be upon him) with similar wording.
Hazrat Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Most Beloved (peace be upon him) of Allah Almighty often used to say in his sermon: “O people! Lighten and cleanse your bodies by way of fasting during Shabaan, so that it shall be easy and helpful to you for the fast during Ramadan. Whosoever fasts for three days during Sha’ban, all his past sins are wiped off” (Baihaqi). Fasting is recommended on the 13th, 14th and 15th of Shabaan.
Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq – May Allah be pleased with him- narrated that the prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah looks at His creation during the night of the middle of Sha’ban and forgives His servants except two: 1) Mushahin (i.e. the person who has hatred) and 2) a Qatil [i.e. murderer) [Al-Amaal al- Mutlaqah by Ibn Hajar: Page 119-120, Al-Targheeb by Haafiz al-Munzhiri: Vol. 3, Page 459, Kitab At-Tawheed wa Ithbat Sifat ar-Rabb by Imam Ibn Khuzaymah: Section : Nuzool]
It is reported that Hazrat Jibrael (Angel Gabriel) came to the prophet (peace be upon him) on the 15th night of Sha’ban and said: ‘Raise your head towards the sky.’ The prophet (peace be upon him) asked, ‘which night is this?’ Jibrael replied: ‘it is that night in which Allah opens thirty doors of forgiveness to his creation and he forgives all His creation except for the non-believers and the polytheist. He does not forgive magicians, fortune-tellers, alcoholics, gamblers, and adulterers because they cannot be forgiven until they repent to Allah. When one-quarter of the night had passed, Jibrael came down again and said ‘Lift your head up.’ The messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) raised his blessed head and saw that all the doors of Paradise were open.
1. At the first door an Angel was saying ‘glad tidings to those who bow in ruku on this night.’
2. At the second door another Angel was saying ‘glad tidings to those who do sajdah (prostration) on this night.’
3. At the third door an angel was saying ‘whoever makes prayer on this night may they receive goodness from it’.
4. At the fourth door an angel was saying ‘whoever does dhikr (remembrance of Allah) may they receive blessings.’
5. At the fifth door an angel was saying ‘whoever cries due to fearing Allah may he be blessed.
6. At the sixth door an angel was saying ‘is there anybody who wants to ask for something? He will receive what he asks for.’
7. At the seventh door an angel was saying ‘is there anybody who wants to be forgiven, for he will be forgiven.’
The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked, ‘O Jibrael! How long do these doors remain open? Hazrat Jibrael (peace be upon him) answered: ‘from the beginning of the night until the morning, twilight is visible.’ He then said: ‘O praised one! On this night, Allah frees the people equal to the number of hairs on the goats from the tribe of Kalb from the Hell.’ (Ghaniyatut Talibeen: Vol. 1, page 169)
It is narrated by Muadh bin Jabal – May Allah be pleased with him- that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah turns towards his creation during the night of Middle of Sha’ban and forgives all of them except for a Mushrik and one who hates other people.” [Majma Az Zawaid by Imam Ibn Hajr Haythmi: Hadith No. 12860, Sahih Ibn Hibban: Vol. 12, Page 481, Hadith No. 5665, Al-Tarikh by Ibn Asakir: Vol. 15, Page 302, Al-Sunnah by Ibn Abi ‘Asim: Vol. 1, Page 224], Al Muajamul Kabir, Vol. 20, Page 108-109, Shu’bul Iman by Al Bayhaqi: Vol. 2, Page 288, Al-Amali by Abulhasan Al-Qazwini: Vol. 4, Page 2,)
Abu Tha’laba – May Allah be pleased with him- narrated that the Blessed Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “On the 15th night of Sha’ban, Allah looks over at his creation and forgives all the believers except for the one who begrudges and hates. He leaves them in their enmity.” (Weak) [Bayhaqi, Tafsir ad-Dar al-Manthur, Under the Verse 44: 3]
Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib- May Allah be pleased with him- said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, ‘When it is the night of the middle of Sha’ban, spend its night in prayer and observe a fast on that day. For Allah descends at sunset on that night to the lowest heaven and says: ‘Is there no one who will ask Me for forgiveness, that I may forgive him? Is there no one who will ask Me for provision, that I may provide for him? Is there no one who is afflicted by trouble, that I may relieve him?’ and so on until dawn comes?” [Ibn Majah, Chapter 191. What Was Narrated Concerning The Night Of The Middle Of Sha’ban, Hadith No. 1388] [Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti, Durre Manthur, Page 26]
It is related from Ibn ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Indeed the supplication is not returned from five nights: the night of Jum’ah, the night of the ‘Id al-Adha’, the night of ‘Idul Fitr’, the first night of Rajab and the night of mid-Sha’ban.” [‘Abd al-Razzaq, Musannaf, Vol. 4, Page No. 317, Hadith No. 7927-7928] [al-Bayhaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Page 319, Hadith No. 6087]
The prophet – peace be upon him- said to Aishah –May Allah be pleased with her- on the night of mid-Sha’ban: “This is the night of mid-Sha`ban! Verily Allah the Glorious and
Majestic look at His servants on the night of mid-Sha`ban, and He forgives those who ask forgiveness, and He bestows mercy on those who ask mercy, and He gives a delay to the people of envy and spite in their state.” (Sound hadith) [Bayhaqi, Shu`ab al-iman, Vol. 3, Page 382, Hadith No. 3835]
Shab-e-Baraa’t: The Eid of Angels
In the same manner, as Muslims around the globe celebrate two Eids, Eid ul Fitr and Eid al-Adha, Angels in Heaven celebrate two Eids, Shab e Barat and Shab e Qadr. Because angels do not sleep at night as humans do, they celebrate Eid at night. Humans, on the other hand, celebrate Eid during the day. (From Guniyatut Talibin, page 449.)
Virtues of Worshipping during Shab-e-Baraa’t
Worshipping during Shab-e-Baraa't reaps significantly larger rewards. According to several Hadiths, worshipping on Shab e Baraa't is Sunnah [recommended], and we can do plenty of good acts by doing so.
Hazrat Aishah Siddiqa (May Allah be pleased with her) narrates that one night the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) started praying nafil prayer. He lengthened his prostration so much that I started to worry that his blessed soul had left his body. When I saw this state I went towards him and moved his big toe and it started to move, so I went back. When he (peace be upon him) came out of prostration and had completed his prayer, he said: 'Oh Aishah! Did you think that the beloved Messenger of Allah would carry out injustice with you?' She replied: 'Oh Messenger of Allah! By Allah! I didn't think so. However, you staying in prostration for so long made me think that you had left this world.' The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: 'Do you know what night this is?' She replied: 'Allah and His Messenger know best.' He (peace be upon him) replied, 'this night is the 15th of Sha'ban, indeed on this night Allah is attentive with his grace and blessings, so He forgives the ones who ask for forgiveness. Those who request for mercy, Allah grants them with mercy and kindness and the ones who hold grudges and have enmity Allah does not shower his blessings upon them.' (Addurr ul Manthur, P. 27, volume 6)
Hazrat Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) has narrated that the Messenger of Allah said when the 15th night of Sha'ban arrives, then do worship and fast during the day, indeed Allah on this night, from when the day has gone down, showers the world with His blessings:
“Is there anyone in search of forgiveness that I should forgive them? Is there anyone in search of Rizq that I provide them with this? Is there anyone captured in misfortune that I guide him to safety? Is there anyone as such? (Meaning, today blessings are open to everyone. Is there anyone in search of my blessings? That I bless him with the best and most virtuous)”. (Ibn Majah: page 100, Shu’bul Iman by al-Bayhaqi, Vol.3, P. 378, Mishkatul Masabih Vol 1, Page 278)
The Opinions of Jurists and Scholars about Shab-e-Baraa't
The qualities of Shabe Baraa't have been recognised and spoken about by many intellectuals and jurists in the past. Umar bin Abdul Aziz, Imaam Shaafi’i, Imaam al-Awzaa’i, Attaa bin Yassaar, Ibn Rajab al-Hambali and Hafiz ZaynuddIn al-Iraaqi (May Allah be pleased with them) are only a few of them. [Lataiful Ma’aarif by Hafiz Ibn Rajab, Page 263-264 and Faydhul Qadeer by Hafiz Zayuddin Iraqi Vol. 2 Page 317]
Imam Shafi'i says: “according to various narrations that have reached us, Dua [prayer] is accepted on five nights: the night of Juma’, the night of Eid Al-Adha, the night of Eid Al-Fitr, the first night of Rajab, and the 15th night of Sha’ban”. [Al-Umm by Imam Shafii, Vol. 1, Page 231]
Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti: “As for the night of mid-Sha`ban, it has great merit and is desirable (Mustahab) to spend part of it in supererogatory worship.” [Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti, Haqiqat al-sunna wa al-bid`a aw al-amr bi al-ittiba` wa al-nahi `an al-ibtida` Page. 58]
Imam Shurunbulali Hanafi says: “It is desirable to revive the last ten nights of Ramadan, two nights of Eids (Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha), ten nights of Zil Hijjah, and the 15th night of Sha`ban”. [Imam Shurunbulali Hanafi, Noorul Eidhah, Page No. 63]
Al-Mubarakpuri says: You should know that a sufficient number of hadith has been narrated confirming "the virtues of the 15th night of Sha`ban". All these hadiths prove that it has a basis. [Al-Mubarakpuri, Tuhfa tl Ahwadhi (Sharah Tirmidhi), Vol. 3, Page No. 380]. After relating many Ahadith about the importance of this night of 15th Sha'ban he says: “The sum of all these Hadiths is strong evidence against the one "who thinks there is no proof" of the virtue of the 15th night of Sha`ban" and Allah knows best. [Al-Mubarakpuri, Tuhfa tl Ahwadhi (Sharah Tirmidhi), Vol. 3, Page No. 365-367]
Some of the Hadiths pertaining to Shab-e-Baraa't have a weak chain of narration. Some argue that Shab-e-Baraa't has no virtue' on this premise. However, Hadith scholars and jurists agree that if a Hadith is Daif [weak in narration] and there are other weak Hadiths with distinct chains of narrations in the same context, these weak Hadiths will be promoted to the status of 'Hasan Li Ghairihi' and will support one another.
As previously stated, the virtue of Shab-e-Baraa't has been narrated by more than ten of the companions of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). As a result, those who claim that “Shab-e-Baraa't has no virtue" are unable to provide any counter-evidence.
In Hadith Science, there is a rule that if a Hadith is Daif [weak], it will be allowed in Fadail [merits] but not in Ahkam [rulings] if it is Daif [weak].
Muhammad Nasiruddin Albani, a respected Salafi scholar, has also described various Hadith relating to Shabe Baraa't as authentic [Sahih]. (See Zilalul Jannah Fi Takhrijis Sunnah by Ibn Abi Asim, 1:223, Silsilatul Ahadees As Sahihah: Vol. 3, Page 135).
He writes: “Allah turns towards his creation in the Night of "Mid-Sha'ban" and forgives all of them except for a Mushrik and one who hates other people”. He says : (This is a) “Sahih Hadith” narrated by a group of companions [Sahaba] with different routes (Isnaad) such as from Muadh bin Jabal, Abu Thalbah, Abdullah bin Amr, Abu Musa al Ashari, Abu Huraira, Abu Bakr as Saddiq, Awf bin Malik and Aishah (May Allah be pleased with all of them). The Hadith of Muadh bin Jabal comes through Makhul from Malik bin Yakhamir and It is “Marfu” narrated by Ibn Abi Asim in his As-Sunnah, Hadith No. 512.” [Nasiruddin Albani, Silsilat as-Sahiha, Vol. 3, Page No. 135, Hadith No. 1144]
The significance and merits of Sha'ban and the night of salvation (Shabe Baraa't) are confirmed by the above-mentioned Hadiths and the opinions of Islamic jurists and scholars, to the point that no man with even a smidgeon of intelligence can contradict it. Knowing this, we should now devote this night to the heartfelt worship of Allah.
We should spend the entire night remembering Allah, requesting pardon and mercy for ourselves and the entire Ummah, and cleaning our mind, heart, and soul of all previous sins. The greatest advancement a Muslim may make in Allah's sight is when his repentance [tauba] is accepted and he is forgiven. Because Dua [prayer] is accepted and sins are forgiven on this night, we should repent and make dua for our benefit in this world and the Hereafter on this night. "And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you may succeed," Allah Almighty says.
Some Recommended Acts for Shab-e-Baraa’t
Seeking forgiveness, reciting the holy Quran, performing nafil prayers, sending rewards to the deceased [Isale Thawab], spending money and wealth in charity for the needy people, doing remembrance of Allah Almighty, reciting tasbih [a form of dhikr that involves the repetitive utterances of short sentences in the praise and glorification of Allah] and sending greetings and salutations [Durud-O-Salaam] on the prophet (peace be upon him) are some of the recommended acts of Shab-e-Baraa’t. The prophet peace be upon him used to perform nafil prayers more particularly on this night.
A regular Columnist with NewAgeIslam.com, Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi Dehlvi is an Alim and Fazil (Classical Islamic scholar) with a Sufi background and English-Arabic-Urdu Translator.
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